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Introduction to Product Management

What is a product ?
Merchandise: commodities offered for sale; "good
business depends on having good merchandise";
"that store offers a variety of products"

An artifact that has been created by someone or

some process; "they improve their product every
Product to cover offerings that fall into one
of the following categories:

Goods Something is considered a good if it is a tangible item. That

is, it is something that is felt, tasted, heard, smelled or seen. For
example, bicycles, cell phones, and donuts

Services Something is considered a service if it is an offering a

customer obtains through the work or labour of someone else. Services
can result in the creation of tangible goods (e.g., a publisher of
business magazines hires a freelance writer to write an article) but the
main solution being purchased is the service. Unlike goods, services
are not stored, they are only available at the time of use (e.g., hair
salon) and the consistency of the benefit offered can vary from one
purchaser to another (e.g., not exactly the same hair styling each time).
Ideas Something falls into the category of an idea if the
marketer attempts to convince the customer to alter their
behaviour or their perception in some way. Marketing
ideas is often a solution put forth by non-profit groups or
governments in order to get targeted groups to avoid or
change certain behaviour. This is seen with public service
announcements directed toward such activity as youth
smoking, automobile safety, and illegal drug use.
Categories of Consumer Products

Convenience Products These are products

that appeal to a very large market segment.
They are generally consumed regularly and
purchased frequently. Examples include
most household items such as food,
cleaning products, and personal care
Shopping Products These are products consumers
purchase and consume on a less frequent schedule
compared to convenience products. Consumers are willing
to spend more time locating these products since they are
relatively more expensive than convenience products and
because these may possess additional psychological
benefits for the purchaser, such as raising their perceived
status level within their social group. Examples include
many clothing products, personal services, electronic
products, and household furnishings.
Specialty Products These are products that tend to carry
a high price tag relative to convenience and shopping
products. Consumption may occur at about the same rate
as shopping products but consumers are much more
selective. In fact, in many cases consumers know in
advance which product they prefer and will not shop to
compare products. But they may shop at retailers that
provide the best value
In addition to the three main categories above, products are
classified in at least two additional ways:

Emergency Products These are products a customer seeks due to

sudden events and for which pre-purchase planning is not considered.
Often the decision is one of convenience (e.g., whatever works to fix a
problem) or personal fulfilment (e.g., perceived to improve
purchasers image).
Unsought Products These are products whose purchase is unplanned
by the consumer but occur as a result of marketers actions. Such
purchase decisions are made when the customer is exposed to
promotional activity, such as a salespersons persuasion or purchase
incentives like special discounts offered to certain online shoppers.
These promotional activities often lead customers to engage in
Impulse Purchasing.
Categories of Business
Raw Materials These are products
obtained through mining, harvesting,
fishing, etc., that are key ingredients in the
production of higher-order products.
Processed Materials These are products
created through the processing of basic raw
materials. Electrical wire is an example.
Advanced Components These are products that use basic components to
produce products that offer a significant function needed within a larger
product. Yet by itself an advanced component does not stand alone as a final
product. In computers the motherboard would be an example since it contains
many basic components but without the inclusion of other products (e.g.,
memory chips, microprocessor, etc.) would have little value.
Product Component These are products used in the assembly of a final
product though these could also function as stand alone products. Dice
included as part of a childrens board game would be an example.
MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operating) Products These are products
used to assist with the operation of the organization but are not directly used in
producing goods or services. Office supplies, parts for a truck fleet and natural
gas to heat a factory would fall into this category.
Components of a Product

On the surface it seems a product is simply a marketing

offering, whether tangible or intangible, that someone
wants to purchase and consume. In which case one might
believe product decisions are focused exclusively on
designing and building the consumable elements of goods,
services or ideas.
Core Benefits
Actual Product
Augmented Product
Core Benefits

People make buying decisions that satisfy their needs. While many needs are
addressed by the consumption of a product or service, some needs are not. For
instance, customers may need to be perceived highly by other members of
their group or need a product that is easy to use or need a risk-free purchase.
In each of these cases, and many more, the core product itself is the benefit the
customer receives from using the product.
In some cases these core benefits are offered by the product itself (e.g., floor
cleaner) while in other cases the benefit is offered by other aspects of the
product (e.g., the can containing the floor cleaner that makes it easier to spread
the product). Consequently, at the very heart of all product decisions is
determining the key or core benefits a product will provide. From this
decision, the rest of the product offering can be developed.
Actual Product
The core benefits are offered through the components that make up the actual
product the customer purchases. For instance, when a consumer returns home
from shopping at the grocery store and takes a purchased item out of her
shopping bag, the actual product is the item she holds in her hand.

Within the actual product is the consumable product, which can be viewed as
the main good, service or idea the customer is buying. For example, while
toothpaste may come in a package that makes dispensing it easy, the
Consumable Product is the paste that is placed on a toothbrush. But marketers
must understand that while the consumable product is, in most cases, the most
critical of all product decisions, the actual product includes many separate
product decisions including product features, branding, packaging, labelling,
and more.
Augmented Product
Marketers often surround their actual products with goods
and services that provide additional value to the
customers purchase. While these factors may not be key
reasons leading customers to purchase (i.e., not core
benefits), for some the inclusion of these items strengthens
the purchase decision while for others failure to include
these may cause the customer not to buy. Items considered
part of the augmented product include
Guarantee This provides a level of assurance that the product will perform up to
expectations and if not the company marketing the product will support the customers
decision to replace, have it repaired or return for a refund.
Warranty This offers customers a level of protection that often extends past the
guarantee period to cover repair or replacement of certain product components.
Customer Service This consists of additional services that support the customers
needs including offering training and assistance via telephone or online.
Complementary Products The value of some product purchases can be enhanced with
add-on products, such as items that make the main product easier to use (e.g., laptop
carrybag), enhance styling (e.g., cellphone face plates) or extend functionality (e.g.,
portable keyboard for PDAs).
Accessibility How customers obtain the product can affect its perceived value
depending on such considerations as how easy it is to obtain (e.g., stocked at nearby
store, delivered directly to office), the speed at which it can be obtained, and the
likelihood it will be available when needed.
Key Product Decisions

The actual product is designed to provide the core benefits sought by

the target market. The marketer offers these benefits through a
combination of factors that make up the actual product.
These factors include:

1. Consumable Product Features

2. Branding
3. Packaging
4. Labelling
Consumable Product Features

Features are characteristics of a product that offer benefits

to the customer. In most cases, the most important features
are those associated with the consumable product since
they are the main reason a customer makes a purchase. For
this tutorial we separate the benefits of consumable
product features into two groups:

1. Functional Benefits
2. Psychological Benefits
Product Features and
Functional Benefits
Customers derive functional benefits from features that are part the
consumable product. For instance, a plasma television includes such features
and benefits as:
Feature- Functional Benefit screen size -offers greater detail and allows for more distant viewing,
screen resolution -viewing provides clear, more realistic picture, surround sound -immerses all
senses in the viewing experience, remote control- allows for greater comfort while viewing

These features are called functional because they result in a benefit the user directly associates with
the consumable product. For marketers functional benefits are often the result of materials, design
and production decisions. How the product is built can lead to benefits such as effectiveness,
durability, speed, ease-of-use, and cost savings to name just few.
Product Features and
Psychological Benefits

For customers psychological benefits represent certain

benefits they perceive to receive when using the product
though these may be difficult to measure and may vary by
customer. These benefits address needs such as status
within a group, risk reduction, sense of independence, and
happiness. Such benefits are developed through
promotional efforts that target customers internal makeup
In addition to determining the type of features to include in a product, the
marketer faces several other decisions related to features:

Quantity & Quality vs. Cost - For the marketers an important decision
focuses on the quantity and quality of features to include in a product.
Is More Better? Even if added cost is not a major concern, the
marketer must determine if more features help or hurt the target
markets perception of the product. A product with too many features
could be viewed as too difficult to use.
Who Should Choose the Features? Historically marketers
determined what features to include in a product. However the
technology, and especially the Internet, offer customers the
opportunity to choose their own features to custom build a product.

Branding involves decisions that establish an identity for a product with the
goal of distinguishing it from competitors offerings. In markets where
competition is fierce and where customers may select from among many
competitive products, creating an identity through branding is essential. It is
particularly important in helping position the product

While consumer products companies have long recognized the value of

branding, it has only been within the last 10-15 years that organizations selling
component products in the business-to-business market have begun to focus
on brand building strategies. The most well-known company to brand
components is Intel with its now famous "Intel Inside" slogan. Intels success
has led many other b-to-b companies and even non-profits to incorporate
branding within their overall marketing strategy.
Brand Names and Brand
At a very basic level branding is achieved through the use of unique
brand names and brand marks. The brand name, which may be either
the individual product name or a name applied to a group or family of
products, is important for many reasons including suggesting what the
product is or does (e.g., Mop-and-Glow). The name is also what we
utter when we discuss the product (i.e., word-of-mouth marketing).

The brand mark is a design element, such as a symbol (e.g., Nike

swoosh ), logo (e.g., Yahoo! graphic), a character (e.g., Keebler elves)
or even a sound (e.g., Intel inside sound), that provides visual or
auditory recognition for the product.
Advantages of Brands

A strong brand offers many advantages for marketers including:

Brands provide multiple sensory stimuli to enhance customer recognition.
Customers who are frequent and enthusiastic purchasers of a particular brand
are likely to become Brand Loyal.
Well-developed and promoted brands make product positioning efforts more
effective. This benefit = brand association provides a significant advantage
for the brand that the customer associates with the benefit sought.
Firms that establish a successful brand can extend the brand by adding new
products under the same family brand. Such branding may allow companies
to introduce new products more easily since the brand is already recognized
within the market.
Strong brands can lead to financial advantages through the concept of Brand
Equity in which the brand itself becomes valuable.

Nearly all tangible products (i.e., goods) are sold to

customers within a container or package that, serves many
purposes including protecting the product during shipment.
In a few cases, such as with certain produce items, the final
customer may purchase the product without a package but
the produce marketer still faces packaging decisions when
it comes to shipping to the store. Thus, for many products
there are two packaging decisions:
1. Final Customer Package
2. Distribution Channel Package
Packaging: Final Customer
When the final customer makes a purchase he or she is initially exposed to the Primary
Package the outermost container that is seen and touched by the final customer. This
primary package can be further divided into the following:

First-Level Package - This is packaging that holds the actual product (e.g., Tylenol
Second-Level Package In some cases the first-level package is surrounded by one or
more outer packages (e.g., box holding the Tylenol Bottle). This second-level package
may act as the primary package for the product.
Package Inserts - Marketers use a variety of other methods to communicate with
customers after they open the product package. These methods are often inserted within,
or sometimes on, the products package. Insertions include information such as
instruction manuals and warranty cards, promotional incentives such as coupons, and
items that add value such as recipes and software.
Packaging: Distribution
Channel Package
This packaging is used to transport the
customer package through the supply chain.
It generally holds multiple customer
packages and also offers a higher level of
damage protection than that of customer
Factors in Packaging Decisions

Protection Packaging is used to protect the product from damage during shipping and
handling, and to lessen spoilage if the protect is exposed to air or other elements.
Visibility Packaging design is used to capture customers attention as they are shopping
or glancing through a catalog or website. This is particularly important for customers who
are not familiar with the product and in situations, such as those found in grocery stores,
where a product must stand out among thousands of other products. Packaging designs
that standout are more likely to be remembered on future shopping trips.
Added Value Packaging design and structure can add value to a product. For instance,
benefits can be obtained from package structures that make the product easier to use while
stylistic designs can make the product more attractive to display in the customers home.
Distributor Acceptance Packaging decisions must not only be accepted by the final
customer, they may also have to be accepted by distributors who sell the product for the
supplier. For instance, a retailer may not accept packages unless they conform to
requirements they have for storing products on their shelves.
Cost Packaging can represent a significant portion of a products selling price.
For example, it is estimated that in the cosmetics industry the packaging cost of
some products may be as high as 40% of a products selling price. Smart
packaging decisions can help reduce costs and possibly lead to higher profits.
Expensive to Create - Developing new packaging can be extremely expensive.
The costs involved in creating new packaging include: graphic and structural
design, production, customer testing, possible destruction of leftover old
packaging, and possible advertising to inform customer of the new packaging.
Long Term Decision When companies create a new package it is most often
with the intention of having the design on the market for an extended period of
time. In fact, changing a products packaging too frequently can have negative
effects since customers become conditioned to locate the product based on its
package and may be confused if the design is altered.
Environmental or Legal Issues Packaging decisions must also include an
assessment of its environmental impact especially for products with packages
that are frequently discarded. Packages that are not easily bio-degradable could
draw customer and possibly governmental concern. Also, caution must be
exercised in order to create packages that do not infringe on intellectual
property, such as copyrights, trademarks or patents, held by others.

Most packages, whether final customer packaging or distribution packaging, are imprinted with
information intended to assist the customer. For consumer products, labeling decisions are
extremely important for the following reasons.
Labels serve to capture the attention of shoppers. The use of catchy words may cause strolling
customers to stop and evaluate the product.
The label is likely to be the first thing a new customer sees and thus offers their first impression of
the product.
The label provides customers with product information to aid their purchase decision or help
improve the customers experience when using the product (e.g., recipes).
Labels generally include a universal product codes (UPC) and, in some cases, radio frequency
identification (RFID) tags, that make it easy for resellers, such as retailers, to checkout customers
and manage inventory.
For companies serving international markets or diverse cultures within a single country, bilingual
or multilingual labels may be needed.
In some countries many products, including food and pharmaceuticals, are required by law to
contain certain labels such as listing ingredients, providing nutritional information or including
usage warning information.
Product Concepts
To Understand the Concept of a Product
To Understand How to Classify Products
To Become Familiar With the Concepts of Product Item,
Product Line, and Product Mix and Understand How They
Are Connected
To Become Familiar With the Product Adoption Process
To Understand Why Some Products Fail and Some
Products Succeed
Whats a Product?

A product is anything that can be offered to
the market to satisfy a want or need
Core benefit that the customer is really buying
In a hotel, customer is buying rest and sleep
Basic product through which the core benefit is
delivered to the consumer
A room, bed, bathroom, desk, closet
Expected product the set of attributes that the
consumers expect as obvious along with the product
(otherwise dissatisfaction)
Clean bed, pillow, fresh towel, soap, lamp, fan etc.
Augmented product attributes / features that exceed
consumer expectation which leads to happiness of the
TV with cable, good interior design & dcor, good food etc.
Cost benefit trade off
Todays augment tomorrows expected
Easy to copy
Potential product all possible augmentation
and transformation that the product may go
through in future which leads to customer
Bar inside the room, fruit bowl, computer facilities
Classifying Products

Consumer Products

Consumer Products

Consumer Products

Consumer Products

Business Products


Accessory Equipment
Business Products

Raw Materials

Component Parts
Business Products

Process Materials
Business Products

Business Services
Product Line
& Product Mix

Product Item
Product Line
& Product Mix
Product Line

Acme Furniture
Co. Products
Product Line & Product Mix
Product Mix
Product Product Product
Line 1 Line 2 Line 3
Table Kitchen Dining Room
Ceiling Dining Room Living Room
Track End Bedroom
Desk Coffee Outdoor
Outdoor Desk
Selected Conference
Acme Furniture Computer
Co. Products
Product Line & Product Mix
Length of Product line
Product Product Product
Line 1 Line 2 Line 3
Table Kitchen Dining Room
Ceiling Dining Room Living Room
Track End Bedroom
Desk Coffee Outdoor
Outdoor Desk
Selected Conference
Acme Furniture Computer
Co. Products
Product Line & Product Mix
Width of Product Mix

Product Product Product

Line 1 Line 2 Line 3
Table Kitchen Dining Room
Ceiling Dining Room Living Room
Track End Bedroom
Desk Coffee Outdoor
Outdoor Desk
Selected Conference
Acme Furniture Computer
Co. Products
Product line Analysis
Understand each product lines market profile and
Sales and profit
Market profile
Identification of significant product attributes of each
product in the different product lines
Identification of competition in the market (different
levels) for each product
Comparison of the positioning theme against the various
competitors against the backdrop of the characteristics of
the target markets
Product related decisions
The profiling and analysis of performance
leads to some decision making by the
product / brand managers
Optimal product line length
Line modernization
Line featuring
Line pruning etc.
Optimal Product line length
Line stretching (up market ~ down market)
Two way
Line Filling
Self cannibalization
JND (just noticeable difference)
Markets for a hotel chain

Economy Standard Good Superior

High Top
Above Middle
Average rs

Average Salespeople

Low Vacationers
Other Product line decisions
Line modernization
Design etc.
Line featuring
Which product items to be used as show piece
to attract consumers for the whole product
Line pruning (removal of deadwoods)
Brand Decisions
A name, term, sign, symbol, design or
combination of them, intended to identify
the goods and services of one seller or group
of sellers and differentiate them from
Sellers promise to deliver a specific set of
features, benefits and services constantly to
the buyers
Brand Decisions
A brand communicates the following six
levels of meanings
Brand Decisions
To brand or not to brand
Brand sponsor decision
Manufacturer brand (HLL, Bajaj etc.)
Distributor brand (private brand) (Shopper
Licensed brand (Parker, Levi etc.)
Brand Decisions
Brand name decisions
Individual name (Lux, Liril etc.)
Blanket family name (Amul products, Godrej
product lines etc.)
Separate family names (TISCO, TELCO, TCS
Company Individual name (Bajaj Chetak,
Bajaj Super etc.)
Brand Decisions
Brand strategy decisions
Line extension
Brand extension
New brands
Brand Decisions
Brand repositioning decision
Brand should be repositioned
Brand should not be repositioned
Packaging includes the activities of designing and
producing the containers for the products
Bottle containing the shampoo
The cardboard box containing the bottles
Shipping package
Factors influencing the growing use of
packaging in marketing
Self- service
Consumer affluence
Company and brand image
Innovation opportunity
May be a simple tag or complex graphics
May carry only the brand name or a lot of other
May be voluntary or enforced by law
Adoption Process
Adoption Process
Product Adopter Categories

100% of
Adoption Process
Product Adopter Categories

2.5% Innovators
Adoption Process
Product Adopter Categories

2.5% Innovators
13.5% Early Adopters
Adoption Process
Product Adopter Categories

2.5% Innovators
13.5% Early Adopters

34% Early Majority

Adoption Process
Product Adopter Categories

2.5% Innovators
13.5% Early Adopters

34% Late Majority 34% Early Majority

Adoption Process
Product Adopter Categories

2.5% Innovators
16% Laggards 13.5% Early Adopters

34% Late Majority 34% Early Majority

Why Some Products Fail and
Others Succeed
80 to 90% Fail. Why?
Failure to Meet Customer Needs
Poor Timing
Market Conditions
Ineffective or Inconsistent Branding
Technical or Design Problems
Overestimation of Market Size
Poor Promotion
Insufficient Distribution
The Emerging Marketing
Increased competition

Proliferation of brands and Product categories

Increased choice to the consumer

Transformation from a Sellers Market to a

Buyers Market
What is an opportunity can only be decided if
there is a strategy. Otherwise, there is no
way to tell what genuinely advances the
organisation towards its desired results, and
what is diversion and splintering of
resources.-- P.F.Drucker
The Sustainable Competitive
The WayAdvantage
You Compete
Product Strategy
Positioning Strategy
Manufacturing Strategy
Distribution Strategy

Basis of Competition SCA

Assets and Competencies

Where You Compete

Product-Market Selection

Whom You Compete Against

Competitor Selection
Product Platform

Product-Line Strategy

New Product Development

Product Strategy Process Structure

Product Platform
Product Platform is a set of subsystems and
interfaces that form a common structure
from which a stream of derivative products
can be efficiently developed and produced
Product Platforms Must be Managed,
Managing the Journey up the Value Curve-
The case of Indian Firms

Understand the Concept of a Product

Understand How to Classify Products
Be Familiar With the Concepts of Product Item,
Product Line, and Product Mix and Understand How
They Are Connected
Understand the Concept of Product Life Cycle and Its
Impact on Marketing Strategies
Be Familiar With the Product Adoption Process
Understand Why Some Products Fail and Some
Products Succeed
Thank You